January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/11/art.sc.debate.cnn.jpg caption=" Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The CNN debate will be co-sponsored with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Suzanne Malveaux and Joe Johns will be joining me in the questioning. All of us are really looking forward to this debate which coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.

It comes just before the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Saturday, January 26. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all have respective strengths and weaknesses in that state. Hopefully, we will be able to learn more about these three candidates during that forum, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The two earlier Democratic debates I moderated – in New Hampshire in early June and in Nevada in November – included a lot more candidates. Several of them, as you know, have dropped out. This one should be more manageable.

There are so many questions all of us have about the candidates. I have my ideas, and am excited, but l really want to hear from you - I would love your input. Let me know what you would ask these Democratic candidates if you had the chance. This race for the White House is at a pivotal point for the Democrats and the Republicans. And the stakes for the nation are very high. Thanks in advance.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: South Carolina • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (2,911 Responses)
  1. Connie K. in New York

    Thanks, again, Wolf–

    For Mr. Edwards:

    I am impressed by how, in your campaign, you honor the sacrifice your parents made to give you a better life. Mine did the same. What do you think you would take into the White House with you in terms of character that makes you better suited for the position than either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama ?

    Thank you.

    January 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Andrew, Indiana

    Do you believe we should follow the Constitution like Ron Paul believes and have small and limited federal govnerment? Do you believe the American people deserve their privacy and how will you resecure that? Oh.. and please do not start off your response with "I belive" or "I have a plan". I want to hear specifics not vague political talk.

    January 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Uba

    Question for All the Presidential Candidates: With the current problems in Washington, the partisan politics and divides that seek to tear us down rather than build us up. What makes you better suited than the other candidates to bring Democrats, Republicans and Independents together to bring about the CHANGE that Washington truly needs??????

    January 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Karen

    Much concern has been voiced about reducing US oil dependency and Detroit started producing alternative fuel capable vehicles years ago (in 2000). Some states, like Minnesota and Illinois, have good consumer access to today's primary alternative fuel, E85 ethanol, while others, including California, have virtually no consumer access to available alternatives. Given the oil industry's historic dominance of the nation's auto fuel distribution system, what will you do to ensure that all US consumers have fair access to alternative fuels like E85 and bio-diesels?

    January 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Pablo

    I wanted to touch upon another side of the immigration debate that rarely gets mentioned: the destructive impact of immigration raids in workplaces and neighborhoods.

    I wont speculate as to why the Bush administration has stepped up these raids to such a degree. But what would the candidates do about them? Increase them? decrease them?

    January 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. violetta

    Hello, Wolf:

    I am a 76 year old lady in N.C. Never have I felt like this before – – that America is being dumped by other countries into a third world country. This observation comes from watching the immense debt that we are piling upon ourselves. I have no idea now as to how to end the Iraqi War and I don't believe any of them do. Having read about so many presidents, as I love history, they are all shocked when they move into the Oval Office and have Advisors disagreeing with them or with each other. I believe that the candidates now "think" they know what they will do BUT no president can basically act without the Congressional Approval. So how do they think they can pull off some of their "I will do this when I am President!" And Hillary is no more qualified than any other president just because she slept upstairs. I sit and watch you, Wolf, and shake my head for I see no strong leader in any ot them and we need a tough, strong person who is not afraid to take a stand to SAVE America from being claimed by countries to whom we owe our souls and bank accounts now. Vi in Waxhaw, N.C.

    January 15, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Ralph R Wickersham

    What is the cnn comment policy

    January 15, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Scott Kepnach

    Would any of the candidates support making Election Day a national holiday to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to turnout to vote? Or, alternatively, would any candidate support moving Election Day to a weekend?

    January 15, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Deirdre

    Wolf – I second the call for an outline of Hillary's "35 years of experience".

    As best I can tell, she has 7 years of ELECTED national experience, compared to Obama's 3 years in the US Senate and 8 years in the Illinois State Legislature, and Edwards' 6 years in the US Senate. It appears that Hillary is counting her time as Arkansas and US First Lady, and frankly, as a woman I'm offended that she would think standing on the sidelines in a non-elected position, courtesy of her husband, makes her more qualified than other candidates.

    January 15, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Roger - IL

    To all the candidates:

    If you raise the minimum wage, doesn't that put a heavy strain on the small business owner who may not be able to afford to pay their employees?

    What will you do to help the small business owner now, since they are overwhelmed with forms and paperwork now?

    January 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Mrs. Clinton,

    Obama has stated that more than 185 million dollars has been spent by mortgage lender's lobbyist in Washington in order to continue their "destructive habits", question: How can you, a person who accepts money from lobbyist, regulate lobbyist?

    January 15, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Andy L.

    Mr. Blitzer:

    Please ask the candidates to describe with specificity how they plan on returning the Federal Government's financial profile from a budget deficit to a budget surplus, which is what Mr. Bush inherited upon entering into office.

    Please keep up the good work... Go Jack and Lou... we appreciate your honest and sometimes pointed comments!

    January 15, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Drew Allinson

    Given the amount of hungry people in our country, do you believe that turning food into fuel is a good idea?

    January 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Deirdre

    If Hillary is going to cite her time as First Lady as part of her extensive resume, I'd like to know how it is that she was so involved with all the positive aspects of the Clinton Administration, but conveniently not involved with anything negative. Another great example was on Russert on Sunday 1/15... didn't know anything about the pardons Bill gave, and had no knowledge that members of her immediate family had submitted pardon requests to the President. Come on – you can't have it both ways!

    January 15, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Mr. America


    Seems that nobody is talking about the gross mis-use of part time workers by large corporations to avoid full time worker restrictions. Studies show that we rank very low when it comes to protecting workers from coorporate powers. What will the candidates do to stop specifically corporations from continuing to abuse this system?

    Mr. America

    P.S. We have such low unemployment...many people have 2 jobs!

    January 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Mike from Waverly, NY

    TO ALL CANDIDATES: For the years Republicans controlled Congress & the White House, they gave the banking industry a free hand to write its own rules. With virtually no oversight – or objections – from the Republican Congress, the extent to how far the banking industry would go in skewing the laws and rules in their own total favor, and against the consumer, is quite evident when you read the fine print on credit card offers. The Republicans had allowed the banks to do anything they wanted, for any reason they wanted and treated the consumer with nothing less than contempt. This same lack of oversight by the Republican Congress also paved the way into the current credit/mortgage crisis that's threatening today's economy. (Much as it did with the S & L crisis in the 80's)

    Since it's obvious the industry as a whole is incapable of any kind of self-restraint or self-governance, what will you do to rectify this and rein in the banking industry's unfair business and predatory lending practices?

    January 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Bryce

    Here's a good question: What message does it send that it is illegal in the United States to kill an unborn bald eagle, but legal to kill an unborn person?

    January 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Sam

    Hi again would you please stop talking and accusing each other in every speech you do that's does not mean anything to anybody because people want to know what exactly your plans when you are in office?

    Everyone on the stage tell us what are you going to promise the Americans people on your first year and would you do for them not to them like our president now?

    This is what we need to know? Nobody is perfect in this world and everybody have done something wrong and still remember that moment so I think most of us in U.S don't care what you have done in the past.
    all what we need to know what are you going to do in the future for them not to them.

    Thank you

    January 15, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Evens

    Please ask Senator Obama why he has not helped his grandmother get out of poverty in Kenya. If he wants to uplift America and bring prosperity to many...one must ask why he has failed to do so for his own grandmother. This goes to the heart of his character and judgment . With the wealth that he has in America, he needs to explain why his grandmother still lives in poverty in Kenya.

    January 15, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Winter Laite

    Questions for all candidates:

    1) What, specifically, are your plans for making the United States non-dependent on other nations for our energy requirements?

    2) Many Americans, especially those at or approaching retirement age, are concerned they will receive second-rate medical care, due to cost, inability of the healthcare system to accomodate demand, or both. What, specifically, will you do to address these concerns?

    3) What aspect or aspects of immigration will you address first, if and when you take office as President?

    4) It appears incontrovertible that the United States became embroiled in the conflict in Iraq due in large part to faulty intelligence gathering. Do you feel this is true? If so, and If elected, what will you do, specifically, to upgrade America's intelligence gathering capabilities?

    January 15, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Denise

    I would like to know why the candidates keep saying that they would allow the 12 -20 million illegal immigrants to stay in this country, but they would have to go to the back of the line. All other people around the world who follow the law to immigrate must be in line in their home country. Why would they allow people who broke the law to be here get this special treatment. They should go home and wait in the real line like all others!

    January 15, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Jerry Jenkins

    Would the candidates consider supporting the elimination of the electoral college system and replacing it with the popular vote which would ensure that each individual vote counted toward election?

    January 15, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Sam

    I want to know how can you unite us, because everybody said we are divided and we need somebody to unite us as one nation?

    Tell us how you are going to do that so people will vote for the best not for the party?
    Thank you

    January 15, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Joshi

    Immigration question : to all candidates.

    I am a legal immigrant working in US last 6 years. Its been almost 6 years since i have applied for my Green Card. Quesion: if you are planning for an amnesty for illegal immigrants, what would be your strategy for legal immigratns waiting in the line for more than 6 years ?

    January 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. dg

    I would like to ask Obama why his prior admitted drug use should not be talked about in this campaign? And we are nto talking about occasional or experimental drug use. I am raising two kids of my own and how would I convince them against drug use, when kids will have a point that our president was a drug addict and still became a president!!!

    January 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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